Five ways nurses can improve the quality of care

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It is no surprise that nurses make up a massive part of the healthcare system, and rightfully so. Consider an individual experiencing health issues. A primary care provider might order a few tests, establish a diagnosis and devise a treatment plan, after which their job is done. So, what about administering medications or monitoring the patient?

Well, this is where a nurse oversees the nitty gritty details of patient care. While these are traditional standards of care, nurses have a more profound impact. Compassion and empathy are often unnoticed but play a massive role in improving a patient’s health quality. 

What’s important to note is that technical, emotional, and social skills go hand in hand. One cannot function without the other. As a nurse, you must consider a few parameters that ensure quality care. The most important is delivering services that adhere to scientific knowledge and evidence-based practice. 

With time, educators have understood that continuous education is also pivotal to improving the quality of nursing and patient health care. To ensure that, nurses must be educated. 

Keeping that in mind, if you aspire to contribute to patient care and expand your knowledge, enrolling in family nurse practitioner online programs is the best way to do so. There are only a handful of institutes with St. Thomas among those that help individuals understand quality care in depth. 

Many might not realize why it is crucial to do so, but since delivering care and compromising patient safety isn’t an option, it only justifies that nurses first learn to improve care and avoid mistakes.    

While education was one aspect, there are a few other gateways to ensuring exceptional quality of care. 

One of the invaluable aspects of care is being compassionate. Experiencing health issues is nothing short of climbing a mountain which is why to reach the top, patients require emotional support. 

A nurse’s compassionate care has a significant impact to the point that it can solidify a patient’s will to survive and enable them to face every challenge head-on. Being a compassionate nurse is not only beneficial for patients but also instills a sense of self-gratification. As a nurse, knowing you have a considerable part in a patient’s recovery makes you feel more connected to your profession. 

Compassion in the nursing field can look like paying heed to patients’ health concerns and complaints, being an active listener, or getting to know the patients.  

Although there is nothing wrong with being compassionate, make sure not to get too involved so that you fall prey to compassion fatigue. This could lead to experiencing physical exhaustion and emotional withdrawal, negatively impacting patient outcomes.  

  • Patient-Centered Care

A nurse’s credibility is reflected in their success in healing patients. A patient-centered approach creates an environment where patients feel empowered and respected in their healthcare. The goal is to maximize comfort and simultaneously ensure safety. 

Nurses have several options to adopt a patient-centered approach to improve the quality of care. It includes lending a patient ear and valuing their and the family member’s input in every clinical decision. 

Family involvement is essential when the patient is in pain, fearful of the situation, and is being moved to another facility. Informed consent and digital information are crucial to individualized patient care, as it instills an understanding and compels people to inquire about their health. 

Additionally, the advent of technology has also led to advancements in patient care. For instance, with electronic health records, healthcare providers can promptly access patients’ medical histories. It reduces the likelihood of repeating or ordering unnecessary testing procedures. 

  • Incorporate Teach-back method

Part of the nursing job is to ensure that patients do not get to see the hospital’s face. As a nurse, you want patients to leave with a bucket of knowledge regarding how to look after themselves. 

One effective way to assert that is by implementing a teach-back method in your practice. That means assisting patients in understanding their health issues and care plan. Once you have done that, ask the patients to repeat the information shared with them. 

It instills a sense of satisfaction that all your efforts have not gone to waste and the patient will do as instructed. Using the teach-back method allows nurses to fill communication gaps likely to create problems for patients and healthcare providers. 

To ascertain that the method has been effective, nurses can follow several steps like handouts, encouraging patients to ask questions, and using simple and clear language. Besides improving patient outcomes, the teach-back method also decreases the number of canceled appointments and callbacks.  

  • Effective Communication

‘What is considered effective communication in nursing?’ The answer lies in how timely and relevant clinical information is conveyed through verbal and non-verbal interaction between healthcare professionals. As a result, this leads to promising results for patients and the entire organization. 

The central element of the healthcare system is communication, which, done right, can lead to better outcomes.

Active listening is one of the most efficient means of communication to understand patients’ needs. It offers insight into health concerns, which helps in developing accurate diagnoses. Besides active listening, other communication means include interpersonal and written interactions in the form of notes or reports. 

To ensure communication effectiveness, nurses must reflect a sincere interaction to understand the patient’s concerns. This is done by asking open-ended questions, speaking slowly, and using layman’s language to describe medical terms. It greatly helps the individual to express themselves without hesitations fully. 

Poor communication only has ramifications, as stated by the Joint Commission, which found that 80% of medical errors resulted from miscommunication.     

  • Being Organized

As a part of the nursing field, staying organized throughout is essential to uphold the organization. Even in stressful situations, nurses can afford to divert their attention from every minor detail. 

A nurse with exceptional organizational skills knows how to manage time effectively and allocate time to follow up on patient care and other events. 

As a nurse, it is vital to adapt, organize, and manage tasks to avoid consequences like poor patient outcomes. Time management is an important skill to master when learning to be organized. It reduces stress and increases efficiency in caregiving tasks. 

This lessens the burdens and makes even challenging circumstances a breeze. 

Conclusion

In addition to healthcare professionals, nurses also play a crucial role in patient care. It can be said with absolute certainty that without nurses’ not only patients are likely to suffer, but hospitals or medical centers would also fail to function efficiently. 

Since a nurse’s goal is to ascertain that patient care remains uncompromised, they must find ways to maintain the standards of care. Some of those ways include being compassionate, adopting a patient-centered approach, and staying organized.  

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